South American teams have lost flair becoming European themselves
There is improvement in South American players technique, skills, physicality, physical fitness and every other dimensions of the game playing in Europe, but they’re missing their roots.
European influence will always be there because they have learned the art of football from them. It was British colonial who brought football to Buenos Aires and then it spread to other parts of South America, but South American were always blessed with their natural flair, winning mentality, and fighting spirit any cost to make the game more entertaining and competitive. Now, the South American superpowers have lost that natural flair and competitiveness becoming European themselves.
Out of first fifteen FIFA World Cup titles, eight belonged to South American nations. Now, out of latter six FIFA World Cup held, South America has lifted the prestigious trophy only once thanks to Brazil’s most decorated side in 2002 which included Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Rivaldo.
South America adopted football replacing their own Bocha, but added their own flair to it as well making it South America’s own game. Football came from Europe, but it was never the same here. They brought their own style to the game and there was a time when they’re dominating the game. Europe’s rich nations had no clue, how it’s so big in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, when we are investing all the money in the game.
It was all there in their blood. They start playing competitive game at the age of five or six on the streets. The bet must be of few coins to win but it’s good enough to lure them to bring competitiveness and fighting spirit which leads to winning mentality.
It’s all lost since the players have started to move to Europe at early stage. That flair, fighting spirit, and winning mentality get lost in expense of developing better technique and bringing discipline into the game.
Luis Suarez once said, “There is Baby football league in Uruguay and Argentina with five-or-six-a-side games on small pitches. At first this model look similar to that used around the world, but in Europe they encourage an almost no-contact sport at that age. Baby football in Uruguay is physical and it’s aggressive… some mothers and fathers keep their children away from it because they believe some of the fun is lost due to the intensity. Some even consider it dangerous… it reinforced the message I have already learned from the street – that you play to win at any cost.”
It’s not the only factor to make the difference between Europe and South America. Their economic differences also used to play a mojor role. Most of the South American countries GDP may be equal to what the big European nations are spending on football alone. But that difference was always there. Europeans were always wealthy, they have more to spend and they’re spending intellectually, but they mostly failed to realize that South Americans have a better game.
It was all because South American nations always had a special bonding. The nation used to unite together when it comes to football, and they wanted to show the Europeans that there is something which they learn from them but now they’ve a better grasp over it.
All the sufferings, bearings, labored hard-work used to bring a different energy giving different dimension to their football. They were never superior technically, tactically, and strategically, but their flair always used to add values and the rest followed itself. That flair and personal touch has lost meaning in recent times for the South Americans.
And, if there is something to blame, it’s their players’ involvement in European Leagues. They are leaving their country at an early age; they haven’t been able to develop their proper belonging to their own nation. Their pride playing for big European teams likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus or PSG have become more dominating than what it feels for playing their national side. They have become more European than South American themselves.
South American footballers are developing as better footballers playing for big clubs in Europe. There is improvement in their technique, skills, physicality, physical fitness and any other dimensions of the game, but they’re missing their roots.
They get only a month or even less to gather themselves as a team before World Cup starts. It hardly help themselves to get the feel back of being an Argentinean, Brazilian, Uruguayan, Colombian, etc. and the tournament gets over for them.
The proper feelings and pride comes from living in your own country, around your own people, understanding your country’s problem, and pushing yourself to get your country out of that misery. It’s not happening for the South Americans right now. The beauty and glamour of Europe is taking that essence of being a South American away from them.